Not About Food

Hounds with allergies, question for you...

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Not About Food 78

Hounds with allergies, question for you...

amyzan | Oct 8, 2009 09:43 PM

Have you ever been refused a meal at a restaurant because you have a food allergy? I had an interesting experience this evening. My mom made a res at a restaurant for my birthday. We had a lovely meal, but noticed the service was a little odd from the get go. She told me that when she'd initially called she told them I had a peanut allergy. They were reluctant to serve me, and cited insurance reasons. She talked with the chef who said the only peanut in the restaurant at the time was peanut oil, and she assured him that my allergist approved foods fried in peanut oil. So, he allowed the reservation.

I was a little surprised at how gingerly or nervously everyone from the hostess to the chef and our server treated us, and when we left, I realized why. There was a message on Mom's voice mail, left a couple hours before the 6 pm res from someone other than the chef at the restaurant. I'm not sure what relation she is to the chef and owner, to be honest. Basically, she was trying to cancel the res at the last minute, saying they wouldn't serve me for liability reasons.

Does anyone with allergies have thoughts on this experience? I was taken aback. We had a great meal despite the awkward, nervous moments, but I don't think I'd go back after this. I don't want to scare anyone off this place, so I won't name it. I just want to discuss the more general topic, rather than dissecting the finer points of liability law or whether allergies are real. I know it's a difficult subject for chefs, but this last minute attempt at cancellation did take me by surprise. I'm a little glad she didn't check the voice mail earlier! Have you ever been treated like you were made of explosive material because of a food allergy? Lost a res last minute or when you asked questions about the menu?

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